It's hard to remember a St. Louis Cardinals farm system that came into the season more highly lauded than the 2013 model. (Not because it was so long ago—because it makes me think of how good Rick Ankiel was, and I've tried to block that out.) Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list is the most recent example: From Oscar Taveras at No. 3 in baseball to Kolten Wong at No. 84 the Cards took six places, and three of their four returning prospects moved up in the world. (Click through for the full list; you can probably guess No. 1 and No. 2 if you take a minute.)
You could probably guess the Cardinals, too, and maybe even in order—but I'll spot you their positions. Taveras is at No. 3, while Shelby Miller hangs on at No. 6, two spots ahead of last year. Then Carlos Martinez (38) and Trevor Rosenthal (39) pop up, back to back, ahead of Michael Wacha (76) and Wong.
Prospect lists, of course, are only valuable if you keep track of the prospect lists you were excited about last year. Here's how the Cardinals finished compared to the 2012 list, which you can find with commentary over here:
|Name||2013 RANK||2012 RANK||TREND|
The presence of Zack Cox on last year's list, of course, is reason enough to be wary of counting all six egg-shaped chickens. But this is a great crop of prospects, and Baseball America is only the latest to agree.